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December 15 2018

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  PS2 - The King of Fighters: Maximum Impact - Character Profiles
Character Roster And Profiles:

There are a total of 19 standard characters in this game as well as one boss character (Duke). Of those 20 characters, 14 are KOF or SNK regulars, while 6 are brand new for this game. The roster is pretty decent although there are some obvious omissions such as Robert, and this is yet another game where Andy has gone MIA. The new characters are fairly decent additions, although they do feel a little more at home in 3D than the classic characters, and some of them seem a bit more suited to button mashing... I'm not sure how well they would fit in if SNKP ever decided to make sprites for them in a 2D game.

Each character has a Player 1 (P1) and a (P2) costume, each with 3 variations and different colours. When you have completed a game with a character you can also look inside their profile and turn on something called "rigging mode" which adds a few optional extras to the character. Below is a listing of all the characters in the game, if possible some details about their storyline, and a description of the various costumes they have.

  • Alba Meira
  • Soiree Meira
  • Lien Neville
  • Kyo Kusanagi
  • Terry Bogard
  • Ryo Sakazaki
  • Clark Still
  • Ralf Jones
  • Leona Heidern
  • Athena Asimiya
  • Mingnon Beart
  • Yuri Sakazaki
  • K'
  • Maxima
  • Mai Shiranui
  • Rock Howard
  • Chae Lim
  • Seth
  • Iori Yagami
  • Duke

  • Alba, along with his brother Soiree, is one of the main characters in Maximum Impact and a member of one of the gangs in Southtown. He has entered the tournament with the aim of a meeting with the leader of "Mephistopheles"; the most powerful gang. Dukes condition for meeting him is that he must join the KOF tournament that he setup and defeat all the fighters that he nominates.

    Soiree is a brand new character who sports a pair of quite ridiculous looking sunglasses (even more so in his alternate costumes), but he's not too bad to play with. A lot of his chain combos consist of kicks and he has a nice command throw too where he punches his opponent in the air a few times. His costumes are pretty funky - the P1 costumes aren't bad, especially the 3rd one which makes him look like an extra from the Matrix, but I'm not keen on his P2 costumes... especially the first one where he has pink hair, as I think that looks plain stupid. His rigging model adds a ninja style mask and swords to his outfit.

    Overall not a bad character, but not one of my faves. He was pretty useful for clearing certain mission mode stages however, due to his easy chain combo kicks!

    Soiree Meira is Alba's brother. He has joined the tournament as he decided to help his brother in becoming the leader of Southtown, by fighting Duke himself.

    Soiree has a totally different dress sense to his bro, and looks like a cowboy in his P1 costume (with the hat on his back and everything). True to his Eddy Gordo Capoeira fight style, his P2 costumes actually make him look a little the aforementioned Tekken character, with braided hair and the like. He can be quite annoying to fight against (just like Eddy), and is probably a little bit of a button mashers dream. He's not that I suppose, but I can see many newcomers picking him due to his ease of use. His rigging model adds boxing styler gloves and headgear to his costume.

    Lien is an assasin (I'm getting a strong Nina Williams feel here) and was possibly the person that Duke hired to kill the man called "Fate", who looked after Alba and Soiree when they were younger and also known as a "guardian" of Southtown. This was in return for Fate's attempt to have Duke assasinated. Other than that, all I know about her is that she is from my home country England, so it's always nice to see yet another blonde bombshell representing Britain, along with Cammy from Street Fighter and Nina from Tekken.

    Nina... AHEM, sorry I mean Lien, has some pretty tasty combos (and not quite as mash happy as some of the other new characters), and some of her projectile attacks seem to revolve around the green gem type things she has on her P1 outfit, even though she doesn't have them on other outfits... the intro seems to make a big deal of these anyway, I'm not quite sure what they are. She also gives Mai a good run for money in the "me bouncy" stakes, and some of her P1 outfits are extremely revealing, in particular a pink outfit she has, complete with fishnet stockings. As for her P2 outfits, they look remarkably similar to the opera gowns worn by Helena in Dead or Alive, although the third version is more of a pirate outfit. I hate to keep mentioning that game (and Tekken for that matter), but it's not hard to see that SNKP have obviously taken a lot of influence from those games. What more can I say than "sex sells"?

    Her rigging model adds a pirate eye patch so it goes well with her 3rd P2 outfit, but bizarrely it also adds a shotgun, holstered on her back. A little weird to say the least.

    I don't think there's anything particularly special about Kyo's story in this one, but it wouldn't be a KOF without him. He plays just about the same as ever and is quite easy to use. His first two P1 costumes are variations of the white outfit he has had since KOF '99, while his third P1 outfit is the same as the new one he wears in KOF 2003. The first two P2 costumes are his classic clothes, whereas the third one is white with red flames and kinda resembles Andy Bogard's old outfits.

    His rigging model gives Kyo a beanie hat, sunglasses, headphones and a backpack. Doesn't really suit him!

    Of course, no KOF game would be complete without the Lone Wolf himself, and he is one of the remaining characters to have the honour of being a playable character in every KOF game to date. Other than the addition of some chain combos to his movelist, he plays the same as ever, and has all of his regular moves including his rising tackle and Burning Knuckle. As for super moves he has the single and triple hit Power Geysers, and also the Buster Wolf. As always, Terry seems to be one of the best and easiest to use characters in the game.

    Terry has both his classic jeans, coat and cap outfit (P1) and his newer leather jacket outfit (P2) from MotW. Two of the funkiest additions to his wardrobe however are the 3rd versions of his P1 and P2 outfits; the 3rd version of his classic outfit gives him a jacket with the American stars and stripes on it, while the 3rd version of the P2 outfit gives him a great yellow/black jacket, black/white hair and even a beard. It's the biggest deviation from regular Terry that I have seen, but I have to say it looks pretty damn cool.

    His rigging model really brings out the wolf in him... literally! It gives him a wolfs head and hands (plus a tail) and is good for a laugh, but probably not something you would want to leave turned on ;-)

    Ryo is another one of the few characters that has made it into every single KOF game, and along with Terry is one of the best all round characters in the game. I can definitely see him being a popular character amongst newcomers due to the way he plays, with his easy combos and stuff. Like all his incarnations since KOF '96, his projectile doesn't leave his hands, unless you do the Haohshoukouken super. As for his other supers, he has the level 3 superpunch (QCF x 2 + HP), and the Ryuuko Ranbu (QCF, HCB + HP) which is a level 2 super that is quite impressive to watch in 3D!

    In Ryo's wardrobe you will find his standard "ripped" outfit that he has been wearing for years now, with a couple of different colours available. The 2nd one gives him red hair and if he had a red headband you could almost mistake him for Ryu from Street Fighter, and the 3rd gives him a very colourful version of the same outfit that has a tiger pattern on it. The P2 costume makes him look a bit older and wiser and gives him a small beard; with the hair style he has here he looks a bit like Akuma/Gouki from Street Fighter!

    Rigging model gives him a Tengu mask, much like his sister Yuri (see below).

    This Ikari Warrior has never been one of my absolute favourite characters, although I prefer using him compared to a lot of other grapplers out there. This is pretty much same old Clark and he has slightly less chain combos then most of the other fighters. moves. Some of his costumes are a bit weird it must be said. While the P1 costumes are variations on his normal clothes that he has been wearing for God knows how long now, his P2 models turn him into a black guy, which is interesting to say the least. In his P2 form he also looks like someone who walked in off the set of Dead or Alive... in fact with the sunglasses he has on he reminds me a little bit of Zack from that game, albeit not as flamboyantly dressed.

    His rigging model gives him a military backpack, shotgun holstered to his back and a helmet in his P1 form, while his P2 form gets some crazy looking shoulder pads, some spiked wristguards and a belt that makes him look like a WWE wrestling character, or perhaps even an extra from He-Man! A lot of the rigging models are a bit crazy, this one is particularly insane!

    I'm not sure of their reasons for being in this tournament, but of the two Ikari Warriors guys, I have always been a bigger fan of Ralf than Clark, and I feel the same way with this game. He has a lot of fun moves, and he's always been more fun to play as in my opinion. He does have more than his own fair share of easy to do chains though, so inexperienced people will pick up on how to use him cheaply quite quickly.

    His P1 outfits are different versions of his the standard KOF gear, and his P2 outfits actually make him look like he did back in the old Ikari Warriors games... in fact the first version makes him resemble Alex from SF3 a little bit. I remember some people didn't even recognise him in some of the early screenshots. In a similar way to Clark, one of his P2 outfits turns him into a black guy and this version has lots of tattoos over his upper body and a tasty looking knife on his back. His P1 and P2 rigging model gives him a military backpack and helmet as well as a gun, much the same as Clark. I was knda hoping that he'd get the same wrestling type gear though, cos then we'd have a tag team!

    Mingnon is a brand new character, and to be honest, not one of my favourites. I have no idea about her storyline, but to me she seems to be another one of the token "fan service" characters, especially with a few of her costumes, and I can definitely see doujin artists adding her into their work very soon... I doubt it will be too long anyway.

    Yuri is back and as cute as she ever has been. Like her brother Ryo, her Kouken doesn't leave her hand, but as in 2D KOF holding the button for a second while you do it will unleash a Haohshoukouken. She plays pretty much the same way as she has done for the past few years in KOF, although new moves that I noticed are a little flip kick and then dive forwards (2 hits), and a slide kick across the floor done by holding down towards and light kick.

    Like many others, Yuri Sakazaki is another character who has long needed a makeover, and she gets a good one in this game. Her P1 costumes are variations of her standard outfit (although the third is red and looks a little different), while her P2 outfit has her wearing shorts and a fairly skimpy top, and at the risk of sounding perverted this outfit suddenly makes her look... well endowed. It's a welcome change of pace anyway, and I think it looks great.

    She has two different rigging models. With her P1 costume she gets given the "Tengu" treatment with a mask with a long nose (think Mr. Karate), and with her P2 outfit she gets shorter hair, a backpack, and a cap that looks suspiciously like something Terry would wear. Ironically, she almost reminds me of Sakura from Street Fighter in this mode.

    Rock was a pleasant surprise for me in this game, as this is the first KOF where he has been playable (to date he has only had a cameo role as a kid alongside Terry). In a way it doesn't make much sense for him to be in this game especially at it seems it is set at a time where his dad (Geese) is still alive and can be found sitting in the background on the Infernal Gate secret stage, but then again I don't think this KOF follows the story properly. Nevertheless Rock is still a great character and a lot of fun to use. He has all three supers that can be found in Mark of the Wolves, including his Deadly Neo Rave, which is always lots of fun to pull off; it might not be the most lethal move ever, but boy does it look good when you pull it out on some unsuspecting chump!

    Costume wise Rocks first two P1's are the same as what he wears in MotW, and the third is a cowboy style jeans/jacket outfit. His first couple of P2's make him look like he wandered in off the set of a Final Fantasy game, and while some people won't like it, I think it's not bad at all. Best of all is his third P2 outfit, which is basically Kaede from Last Blades clothes, and someone did once tell me that both Rock and Kaede have the same voice actors so it's a really nice touch.

    His rigging model adds a cowboy hat and trousers and obviously suits his third P1 outfit best. I'm not a fan of this look myself though...

    Chae Lim is a new character in this game, but I do use the word "new" very lightly. She is basically a female Kim Kap-hwan has exactly the same moves and the same "I hate evil" attitude as him and also his son Jae Hoon from MotW. I think a lot of people will wonder why they didn't just put Kim in the game instead of Chae Lim, but I don't think she is all that bad. I was hoping that Kim would be unlockable or even in there as an extra costume for Chae Lim, but no luck on that front it seems.

    Duke is the final boss of this game, and is the leader of the most powerful gang in Southtown, that goes by the name "Mephistopheles". He had a man called Fate assasinated (see Lien's profile), who was a person who looked after Alba and Soiree when they were younger, and was known as the guardian of Southtown. Fate once tried to have Duke assasinated but the attempt failed (see the scar on Dukes next which is shown clearly in the intro), which is why Duke sent in Lien to kill Fate in return.

    Duke suffers from the usual "SNK Boss Syndrome"(TM) and has some ridiculously powerful moves, especially his super move where he pummels the ground and flames shoot out covering the ground around him. That thing can hit you when you are behind him or standing at the side, and can easily wipe out a massive chunk of your energy bar. Considering he has a constant maxed out power bar (against the CPU) and with dangerous chain combos he has, it won't take long for him to kill you if you let him get a hit in. He is very cheap, and probably someone you would want to ban people from using in vs mode! Get yourself trapped in a corner and you are pretty much screwed against him. Interestingly he also a the Genocide Cutter type move...

    Back to KOF: MI Review -->

    Back to Non-Neo Geo Reviews -->

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